El Playón

El Playón Travel Blog

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Caura River

Well... sleeping in a hammock ... had good nights and bad nights with hammocks, this one was definitely bad. My husband did not sleep at all, his back couldn't make it. I was freezing and had cought a cold.
Nothing to do about it, so we had breakfast, packed and ... waited. Something about that we might have to wait for another tourist group arriving from Las Trincheras. Lucky for us, they did not show up, so at 11 we could finally continue our trip. We were actually in a hurry now, because ahead of us we had 160 km untill we would reach El Playón, our next camp! We had to go up river driving around stones and rapids and the water was low (dry season), so it could take a while. Since we had been spending time waiting, there now was no time to see any indian communities on our way nor swim or anything.

El Playón
We had to reach our destination befores sunset, navigating in the dark was not preferable. So we made ourselves comfortable in the canoe and took off.

We only stopped 2 times or so for "toilet", even had lunch on the boat when driving full speed! Not as easy as it might sound since we were served tunasalad, toast and chips, and both chips and toast were blown away from speed before we even had a chance to grab it :-)

It was an awsome ride, breathtaking scenery with the forest and river, far away some mountains... but it was quite a long trip, I have to admit. Take care of the sun, use protection... Just before sunset, around 5 pm, then finally, finally and totally overwhelming, we hit the "end of the river". And El Playón.

WHAT A SIGHT!!

El Playón is a beach at Caura River, right before the place where you can't pass on by boat.

Our hut
Caura River devides in higher and lower Caura, lower Caura is the part we travelled on, from El Playón to the Orinoco. At El Playón a mountain kind of stops for all boat traffic on the river. Suddenly the river devides into 2 narrow streams fossing down from each side of that mountain. By boat, you can go to here and no further. If you want to somehow reach the Higher Caura, you have to walk - climb! Which is what we were supposed to do the next day. The division of Caura here has for ages been the natural barrier of civilisation and tourism, and the indian communities higher up the river pretty much still live in peace behind those mountains.

It was breathtaking to finally reach El Playón. Not only a beautiful place at the end of the world - it was overwhelming to finally reach the destination, and furthermore it's sooo idyllic.

Evening atmosphere at El Playón

Righ behind the beach there are tourist huts and the camp, and I fell in love instantly. Walking through the camp the path continues to where some indians live. As I wrote earlier, we were one day ahead of the crowds, so when we arrived, it was hardly anybody else there! The indians who live in the village, some guides, some soldiers trying to prevent gold diggers from exploiting the area and us - oh, and Christina (keep on reading...). It was PERFECT.

Once installed in our very own charming hut, we took a bath in the river enjoying the fantastic nature around us. We had just gotten up the water when - in the dusk of the evening - I saw some big animal rising from the water where we just had been. One second later it was on land and running towards us.

My fat friend Christina
.. yyyyrrrggghhh!! Our feet moved quite quickly untill we could see it was a Capybara, a big rodent. It stood and glazed at us for a while, and it actually looked disappointed over that we ran... later that evening I asked our guide about it, and he laughed and said: That's domestic! They call her Christina!! You can pet her!

So I did when I ran into her later, and maybe this was one of the best moments of that Venezuela trip at all... already when I was a child I had a dream of meeting a capybara in real nature!!

Christina shit in a corner in the kitchen later that day, but what the hell, all the evening could not have been better. We organized a matress for my dear husband, so he could sleep on a table instead of a hammock, and then tried to get a good nights sleep before our hike to the falls the day after.

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Caura River
Caura River
El Playón
El Playón
Our hut
Our hut
Evening atmosphere at El Playón
Evening atmosphere at El Playón
My fat friend Christina
My fat friend Christina
Big rocks and rainforest surroundi…
Big rocks and rainforest surround…
Statue El Pensador
Statue El Pensador
No further up river from here
No further up river from here
Caura River
Caura River
El Playón
photo by: Marejka